Saturday 12 November 2022

An Obsession with Half-tracks

 An Obsession with Half-tracks 

Not one I`ve yet built, but who knows!

For years now I`ve been building and collecting US half-tracks .

 I`ve always liked them, I think they take me back to my childhood and films from the 1950s/60s & 70s where M3 type half-tracks would be used in movies by both sides. Seeing German M3s chasing the LRDG across the desert "Sea of Sand" (1958) or Isreali M3 fighting Egyptian Shermans in the Sinai "Cast a Giant Shadow" (1966) or German armoured infantry riding beside Tigers in the Ardennes "Battle of the Bulge" (1966) had a great influence on my young mind.

The first unit I built when I got back into wargaming in my twenties was a US armoured recce unit with light tanks and half-tracks.

Now my collection is quite large at 36 vehicles

Now before we take a look at the models I should point out I`m not a rivet counter in any way, I don`t care if the real thing was built be International Harvester, Autocar, Diamond T, White or whoever; I also see no reason in 20mm at 4ft across a tabletop why there should be any difference between a M2, M3, M3A1, M5, M9 or whatever other mark - they are all M3 types. Also I quite happily mix`n match types, it is after all my hobby and my collection. You will find quite a few ex-Matchbox M16 chasis being used for all sorts of things as I was building on the cheap and once bought eight (8) Matchbox kits for only £20 at the Crusade show in Penarth, South Wales off a trader who was selling up - a total bargain as long as you don`t care about 100% accuracy (which I don`t).

Transport for the Free French 2Dble (4)
These have French markings and crews have some Free French kit 
S&S Models + Sgt`s Mess
Airfix + Sgt`s Mess

Transport for US armd Infantry (6)
Matchbox (M16 chasis) + 2 Blue Box di-cast toys
A Fujimi M3 flanked by 2 Matchbox

Tows or tracks with raised tilts (5)

Airfix + Matchbox

2 more Matchbox

Matchbox with an Airfix gun

Radio/command vehicles (3)

Britannia, Skytrex + Airfix

M16 SP AA (2)
Both Matchbox but the nearest one has a Raventhorpe Maxon turret

M4 HTMC (2)
Matchbox (with a Kelly`s Heroes M4 conversion kit) + SHQ

M3 75mm GMC
Italeri fast build

Engineer vehicle
Airfix track with a Fronline trailer


M3 75mm GMC of 9RCA Tunisia 1943

S&S Models + Sgt`s Mess

Russian SU-57
A truly awful resin thing which I bought off Ebay and will eventually get a make-over

Spanish M3 Ifni 1957-58
Hasawaga model

French Indo-China
Matchbox chasis

German captures in Tunisia

This became a bit of an obsession, I`ve tried to add the photos from which the model was based

A captured M3 into which the Germans mounted a 20mm flak 
Bluebox di-cast toy with a Milicast 20mm and AB Figures trailer

On the road to Thala (Feb `43) Rommel chats to the crew of a captured M3, the vehicle now belongs to 1st battalion 69PG
Another BlueBox di-cast toy

M3 with a 3.7cam M35 French AA gun taken off a ship
Fujimi model with a scratch built gun

T28E1 under new management
Raventhopre M15 converted using a Zvezda Russian 37mm & an Airfix trailer

Captured M3 being used as a maintainence vehicle by the 501st Hvy Panzer Battalion
Matchbox track with an Airfix trailer

M3 75mm GMC
Italeri quick build

T30 HMC seen here with 86PG at Sidi Nsir Feb `43
Old Skytrex model 



  1. Fantastic collection! Really like your Beute conversions.

    1. Cheers, on the whole I`m pretty pleased with these. One of these days those Beute halftracks may even see a tabletop :)

  2. Wont comment on obsessions / collections....its probably a shared and widespread gamer / model-maker problem!! BUT luv those photos and the related conversions; they are special. How big a table would you need to field that US recon H/T monster unit in a game??!!

    1. I think if i extend my table to its maximum 10 x 8ft that would allow me to deploy the whole force. The most we`ve had so far was two columns each with a company of armd infantry and a platoon of tanks plus so recce supported by battalion mortars and artillery - a pretty crowded table with lots of action.

  3. Great stuff Richard!

  4. Nice work on a variety of M3 armies.

    1. Impressive collection, thanks for adding the manufacturers' names. Regards, Pat

    2. Thanks Pat, far easier to identify models that it is with a couple of hundred figures :)

  5. A great collection Richard.

    I really like the effort you put into the captured examples.



    1. Cheers Pete, one day they may even see a tabletop :)

  6. Good Stuff! the french AA gun conversion is really nice.

    1. Thanks, quite pleased how that one turned out myself :)

  7. Great Collection - I thought I was bad with about 6 in 28mm. Skytex - wow that's a name from the past.

    1. Yes Skytrex a name from way back in the past :) Early War Minatures and Shellhole Scenics bought all their vehicle moulds (I think Lancer Miniatures had the foot figures?). I don`t own many originals (they were far too expensive for my pocket back in the day). I do now own a couple of EWM re-releases too.